A diving in the Mexican cenotes in Tulum is truly unique in the world! Immerse yourself in these networks of tunnels and caves breathtaking lighting is unique. Experiment halocline (the meeting of fresh water and salt water) in some Cenotes is also exceptional. They're all different, so you dive into the Cenote Dos ojos, El pit or Angelita it will not be the same experience! You can dive in the Cenotes from Tulum or Playa del carmen. These very special dives were on my bucket list and I really enjoyed doing them!

Context : I took a 2 month trip to Mexico and I dived on all the destinations of Yucatan: Cozumel, the Cenotes, Playa del Carmen Isla Mujeres, Mahahual, Banco Chinchorro and Xcalak.

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ARTICLE GUIDELINES
# Summary 
# Top 8 best Cenotes
# Presentation
# Diving with 
# Cenotes Map
# Tulum or Playa 
# Diving club
# Price 
# Accommodation
# How to get there
# My diving review

MEXICO CENOTES DIVING INFO

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  • Best diving season Cenotes : May to September.
  • Best Yucatan Cenotes Mexico : Dream Gate, Dos Ojos, El Pit, Angelita, Car wash, Calavera.
  • Visibility : up to 60 m!
  • French-speaking diving clubThe Calypso (Tulum), Phocea (Playa del carmen).
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurRecommendations by category of divers: 

> New diver : not recommended.
> Certified : you see, there are no fish, but it's worth it.
> Experienced : it's really unique to do absolutely.
#Summary #Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

TOP 8 BEST CENOTES FOR DIVING IN MEXICO

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  • Dream Gate and Dos Ojos : the best ones to really explore cave systems.
  • El Pit : the best light shows.
  • Angelita : experiment with the transition from fresh water to salt water by a layer of halocline.
  • Car wash : spectacular lighting effects.
  • Calavera : impressive view from the top of the Cenote.
  • Tajma Ha : a beautiful system of caves.
  • Zapote : a unique configuration with kinds of bells under the halocline.
#Summary #Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

PRESENTATION OF THE CENOTES OF MEXICO

Where is the Cenotes of Mexico?

The Cenotes is found on the Yucatan Peninsula, on the east coast of Mexico, between Tulum and Playa del carmen.

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What is a Cenote?

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  • You have to be like me before you go for the first time, you know the Cenotes, you want to dive in, but you don't know exactly what it is!
  • Basically thousands of years ago the peninsula of Yucatán was filled with caves.
  • A combination of geological and climatic phenomena has since submerged these water caves.

Cenotes of Yucatan

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  • More concretely today, a Cenote is going to be a water hole in the middle of the forestwhich will form a natural well and will be consisting of an underground network of submerged caves.
  • Most are only filled with fresh water, but in some deeper ones, fresh water can meet salt water coming straight from the ocean (the meeting of the two waters is called halocline).
  • Since divers discovered this phenomenon, they have updated more than 200 km of submerged underwater networks in the Yucatan peninsula!
#Summary #Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

DIVING CENOTES MEXICO OPINION

Logo-plongeur-baroudeurNote : the following advice is for rather experienced divers with very good buoyancy. You don't like some Cenotes that I recommend if you are not comfortable with your buoyancy…

What are the best Cenotes?

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  • As usual I talked to a lot of fellow instructors and went around the centers when I arrived to compare the information.
  • Finally, I made 8.
  • Each Cenote is really different, so it will depend on your tastes!

I invite you to read also this article which lists the most beautiful Cenotes to make Yucatan. A blog very well done and full of info!

The advice: make at least 4 Cenotes

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  • Only one Cenote to dive : according to the tastes, Dream Gate for the best system of cellars and caves (Dos Ojos is great for that, but trust me, Dream Gate is even better!) or The Pit for the best light shows and the experience of the halocline.
  • 2 Cenotes: Dream Gate and Dos ojos if we want to make that cave systems, if not Dream Gate and The Pit
  • The best is to dive 4 Cenotes: The Pit, Dream Gate, Angelita, Dos Ojos
  • 6 Cenotes is the best : The Pit, Dream Gate, Angelita, Dos Ojos, Car wash, Calavera.

It will also be easier to organize, because of course not all Cenotes are in the same place and you can't always combine what you want to do! See the Cenotes map below.

#Angelita #Calavera #Carwash #Dos Ojos #Dream Gate #El Pit #Gran Cenote #TajmaHa #Zapote

Cenote Dream Gate

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  • This is not the best known, but it's probably the one I liked the most !
  • If I only had one to do, it would be this one!
  • Basically, it's Dos Ojos better !
  • This is the Cenote where you will rush most in the tunnels and caves, the closest to cave diving !
  • At Dream Gate you really take a whole series of tunnels, where you will evolve in the caves and enjoy the stalactites. Unmissable!
Logo-plongeur-baroudeuradvice : Dos ojos is the best known and is very good, but I guarantee that Dream Gate is better for caver systems (and there are much less people)!

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#Angelita #Calavera #Carwash #Dos Ojos #Dream Gate #El Pit #Gran Cenote #TajmaHa #Zapote

Cenote El Pit

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  • One of the best known.
  • Because she who the best light shows reflecting in water.
  • El Pit is like Angelita, a kind of big well which goes very deep below the Cenote.
  • If you go there enough early in the morning, the light effects are just beautiful!

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  • At 30 m you will find the halocline layer (the meeting of fresh water and salt water), you will descend below this layer to be in the sea water and in total darkness.
  • I loved the Pit, to do absolutely !!

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#Angelita #Calavera #Carwash #Dos Ojos #Dream Gate #El Pit #Gran Cenote #TajmaHa #Zapote

Cenote Dos Ojos

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  • I didn't want to do Dos Ojos, I thought it was too commercial, that it wouldn't be what I was hoping for.
  • Well, in the end I did it.
  • So actually Dos Ojos is superb, many tunnels and caves, but as it's the most touristy, you have to know how to do it.
  • I honestly tell you not recommended in high season, the dive will be filled with divers!
  • To give you an idea, an average parking lot for a Cenote is 10-20 cars max, in Dos Ojos it's a hundred possible cars!
  • You will also have all the snorkelers above the Cenote, which spoils the whole view! Or, go very early (the Cenote opens at 8 am), before all the tourists !!
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurHow to make Dos ojos!

> There is 2 Ojos back lines.
> Generally, the centers offer you to do the 2 lines independently, but in fact the 1e line (Barbie line) takes 40-45 min and the 2e (Batcave) 20-25 min normally> But the centers do it very very slowly to save time ... 
> So, if you do Dos Ojos, ask the center of do the 2 lines in one dive. That's what I did, about 65 minutes for the 2 lines.

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#Angelita #Calavera #Carwash #Dos Ojos #Dream Gate #El Pit #Gran Cenote #TajmaHa #Zapote

Cenote Angelita

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  • Angelita really has a particular configuration !
  • You descend into a sort of immense well of 60m below the Cenote, the colors are different from the Pit, more green, but the visibility remains fantastic.
  • At about 30 m you arrive at the halocline layer (the meeting of fresh water and salt water), you see the trees that come out of this layer but you don't see anything below!
  • You must therefore pass this layer of about 1.5 m (which looks like a kind of cloud) to find yourself in salt water.
  • carte-plan-cenote-angelitaDuring the passage of this layer you see nothing, even with the lamp, a great moment, even I said to myself " but where am I going, what is it below? ".
  • Once the layer is over, you are in salt water, at about 40 m, it is completely dark, but with the lamp you can see where you are! Unique !!

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#Angelita #Calavera #Carwash #Dos Ojos #Dream Gate #El Pit #Gran Cenote #TajmaHa #Zapote

Cenote Calavera

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  • A pretty nice Cenote where you will go around a kind of huge rock by borrowing as always multiple tunnels and caves.
  • For the entrance, a small jump 3m high awaits you.
  • Once at the bottom, the view of the play of light from the top of the Cenote (view the photo) is spectacular.
  • At several passages during the dive you can experience the halocline (the meeting of fresh water with salt water).

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#Angelita #Calavera #Carwash #Dos Ojos #Dream Gate #El Pit #Gran Cenote #TajmaHa #Zapote

Cenote Carwash (Aktun Ha)

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  • The colors are different from some Cenotes, quite greenish, but I liked it.
  • We don't rush into a system of tunnels like Dos Ojos or Dream Gate.
  • We go around Cenote and we appreciate the colors and the trees coming out of nowhere.

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#Angelita #Calavera #Carwash #Dos Ojos #Dream Gate #El Pit #Gran Cenote #TajmaHa #Zapote

Gran Cenote

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  • Too touristy, I really did it because I wanted to do Dos Ojos and another Cenote that I hadn't done.
  • Lots of snorkelers above, a course just around the Cenote, without really entering tunnels.
  • A huge parking lot, so I guess in the middle of the season there must be people, especially snorkelers! 
#Angelita #Calavera #Carwash #Dos Ojos #Dream Gate #El Pit #Gran Cenote #TajmaHa #Zapote

Cenote Zapote

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  • This Cenote is a bit isolated from the others, north of Playa del Carmen.
  • I couldn't do it, but I heard the greatest good.
  • A Cenote with a really particular configuration apparently.
  • She is as deep as Angelita and Le Pit.
  • Below the halocline layer at 30 m, you apparently access a room filled with bell-shaped rock formations (see photos)!
#Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Best Cenotes #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

MAP OF THE CENOTES OF MEXICO

Map of the best Cenotes in Mexico

  • I have not put all the Cenotes that exist, just the ones I recommend to you.
  • Then, it can allow you to organize your days because the Cenotes not being all in the same place you cannot do exactly what you want.

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Organization of dives in Cenotes

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  • So of course, unlike usual, we don't go by boat to the Cenotes!
  • You must to take the car and go to Cenote.
  • So, depending on where you go (Tulum or Playa del carmen), it may take a little time (10 min to 30 min from Tulum).
  • The centers often offer a pack of 2 Cenotes minimumsee 3 if you want

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  • The centers are of course trying to save on gas, which is normal, you may not be able to do exactly what you want (this will depend on the flexibility of the center and its schedule): it will be hard for example to make Aktum Ha and Tajma Ha the same day (see map)
  • Another thing to know : there are two deep dives (The Pit and Angelita), so you can not not do them the same day and they will be the first dives of the day. Zapote too, but anyway if you do Zapote, you will not be able to combine it with one of the other Cenotes on this card.
Example of what I did (2 dives per day)Logo-plongeur-baroudeur

> The Pit / Dream Gate> Angelita / Aktun Ha (Carwash)> Tajma Ha / Calavera> Dos Ojos / Gran Cenote
#Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Best Cenotes #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

DIVE TULUM OR PLAYA DEL CARMEN CENOTES?

Diving Cenotes from Tulum: to really enjoy Cenotes for 3-4 days

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I would say if you want to appreciate the Cenotes and make 4 or more, Tulum is the best solution. Tulum is generally closer to all Cenotes which gives you certain advantages:

  • Travel time shorter and up in the morning later!
  • Less trip = cheaper price.
  • More flexible centers on the organization of the day's dives.

Other points:

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  • Housing prices and food overall cheaper than Playa del Carmen.
  • The possibility of going to see the Mayan temple 10 minutes from the center of Tulum.
  • No beaches in Tulum center. If you want to the beach, you will have to stay 10 minutes from the center and prices are not given!
  • All the centers are globally in the city center, so if you also want to dive in the sea, this will be the same organization with car trip.

Diving in Cenotes from Playa del Carmen: having the best compromise with other dives

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If you only come for a week of diving and want to make the most of the region, staying in Playa del Carmen is perhaps the best solution.

  • Since Playa, you can day trip to Cozumel and Cenotes
  • Macro: life is very lively in Playa so if that's what you're looking for you will not be disappointed
  • Unlike Tulum, there is from the beach everywhere
  • Accommodation overall more expensive only in Tulum
  • Organization for Chichen Itza easier than in Tulum
#Summary #Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

WHAT IS THE BEST PERIOD TO DIVE IN CENOTES ?

You can dive all year round at the Cenotes but the best diving season is from May to September when the brightness is the best.

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When to dive in Cenotes ?

  • Avoid the rainy season in Mexico from October to November.
  • The months of May to September gives the best brightness.

Diving conditions in Cenotes:

  • Visibility to Cenotes : it is fresh water, so up to 50-60 m.
  • Water temperature in Cenotes : 25-26 °.
#Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Best Cenotes #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

MEXICO CENOTES DIVING CLUBS

The best dive centers Cenotes Mexico

Tulum's reference diving club: ProTec

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  • So it's going to be easy to explain, all Cenotes have been tagged and strung to be able to locate themselves, and well the boss of ProTech is simply the one who did this !!
  • So for sure, if you want to train, this is probably the best dive center.
  • If you just want to discover the Cenotes, I recommend smaller centers that will probably be more flexible and cheaper.

The French Cenotes diving club in Tulum: The Calypso

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  • The best French-speaking diving center in Tulum is La Calypso (except Phocea from Playa del Carmen).
  • They have very good review on Tripadvisor and good prices
  • I really wanted to dive with them, but they didn't have places for me.
  • They do not have a store where we cannot meet them.
  • On the other hand, very good reactivity in the messages, good info, they tried to find solutions.

The center with which I dived in Tulum: Easy Chango

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  • After going through several options and centers that I was recommended, I chose Easy Chango.
  • So it is probably not the best known or famous, but I was immersed with them for 2 reasons:
    • Flexibility: we discussed all the Cenotes and jwas able to do exactly the Cenotes I wanted and organize my stay of 6 dives with them. I also asked them to be the 1e each time on each Cenote, answer: "no problem Tony!".
    • The price: after negotiation, they make 10% discount.
      • $ 140> $ 120 for 2 dives, one deep (Le Pit and Angelita)
      • $ 120> $ 110 for 2 deep dives
  • Of course it is not the most beautiful center I have seen, but I was not deceived, I got what I wanted.
#Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Best Cenotes #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

MEXICO CENOTES DIVING PRICE

What are the prices of Tulum Cenotes dives?

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  • About 100$ for 1 dive.
  • About 150-180$ for 2 dives.

What are the prices of the Cenotes dives in Playa del Carmen?

About 150-180$ for 2 dives.

HOTEL DIVING CENOTES MEXICO

Hotel diving in Tulum Mexico

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There are lots of accommodation in Tulum ! I did not stay long enough to recommend them by range, but here are some tips:

Diving hotel in Playa del Carmen

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There are so much accommodation on playa del carmen so much accommodation on playa del carmen, it's impossible to recommend one!

#Summary #Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

HOW TO GO TO MEXICO CENOTES?

Getting to Mexico's Cenotes is easy with Cancun International Airport right next door.

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Journey to come to Cenotes by plane

  • From Europe or Quebec, the easiest way is to land in Cancun, it's a huge international airport.
  • Then Playa del Carmen is 1 hour drive and Tulum 2 hours.

Route to come to Cenotes by bus

Tulum and Playa del Carmen are easily accessible by bus from many cities in Mexico (Cancun, Mahahual, Mexico city…) and belize thanks to Teen bus.

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#Summary #Top 8 Cenotes #Presentation #Diving with #Map #Tulum or Playa #Dive centers #Accommodation #Get to #My diving review

MY OPINION ON DIVING WITH CENOTES

At the very beginning, I just wanted to make a Cenote or two just to experience it. The more I talked about it around me, the more I looked for information and the more I was passionate about the Cenotes. Finally I made 8 and I'm super happy! It's really a special experience, unique, that you will not really have the chance to do elsewhere. So if you make a diving trip to Mexico, dive into cenotes !!

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